Romney Wimp Factor: Newsweek’s Tired Trope

Mitt Romney is no more of a wimp than George H.W. Bush or John Kerry.

Jonathan Chait eviscerates Newsweek for its Romney Wimp cover.

Among the most memorable and potent examples of a newsweekly setting the agenda was Newsweek‘s 1987 cover story on George Bush, with the memorable line “The Wimp Factor.” (The line became memorable in large part because Newsweek itself referred back to it some two dozen times, including in conjunction with John Kerry and Barack Obama.)

Newsweek itself, at least its print edition, may soon shuffle off to its mortal coil. You can see the editorial thought process at work. What kind of cover story could create the sort of pop that the classic “Wimp Factor” cover did? Then inspiration struck: How about another ”Wimp Factor” cover? And so this week’s edition of Newsweek reprises the cover line, only applied to Romney. The affiliated Daily Beast website also has an item “Reliving History” of that great moment in its past. It calls to mind the old Saturday Night Live skit with the director who strikes gold with Soylent Green (an actual movie about a mysterious food that turns out to be made of people) and then attempts to recreate the success with a series of progressively less-successful follow-upsSoylent WhiteSoylent TealSoylent Cow PiesSoylent Stooges, before, finally, returning to his roots with Soylent Green 2.

The latest edition of Soylent ”Wimp Factor” is churned out by the estimable Michael Tomasky, who (I would surmise) gamely tries to fit the facts into the hackneyed premise, but winds up disproving it. The difficulty begins with the lead anecdote of the piece, which has to be on the news. The latest news about Romney, of course, is (or was, as of press time) his insult of the London Olympic Games. “The episode highlights what’s really wrong with Romney. He’s kind of lame, and he’s really … annoying,” the story assures us. Except, of course, that gratuitously insulting your hosts while subtly implying you could do their job better, whatever else is wrong with it, is the opposite of wimpiness.

It leans on the power of invidious comparison: “Where Reagan saddled up a horse with the masculine name of El Alamein, Mitt saddles up something called Rafalca — except that he doesn’t even really do that, his wife does.” The “except that” clause is written as if it somehow amplifies the charge, wheras in fact it nullifies it completely. Here, let’s try this method to argue that, I don’t know, Tom Brady isn’t manly. Ready? Where Johnny Unitas once pounded beers in working class bars, Tom Brady promenades down fashion runways in a dress — except that he doesn’t even really do that, his wife does.

There’s more but you get the idea.

Now, in fairness to Newsweek, there were certainly people who thought George H.W. Bush was a wimp back in 1988. It was, of course, absurd—the man was the Navy’s youngest fighter pilot during WWII, captain of the Yale baseball team, a successful oil man, director of the CIA, and otherwise had pretty strong credentials as a man of assertive action–but he did have a less than baritone voice and seemed rather genteel in comparison to Ronald Reagan, who managed to convince everyone he was a cowboy. Then again, the nature of the vice presidency is one of subordination.

Similarly, John Kerry—and for that matter, Michael Dukakis and Al Gore—faced similar questions for similarly absurd reasons. It was even stranger in the case of Kerry than for Bush the Elder, in that Kerry was not only a war hero but still a rather vigorous athlete at the time he was running for president. Yet, oddly, that backfired on him.  Photos of him looking buff while windsurfing at the age of 64—which, even as a supporter of his opponent I considered pretty badass—were the subject of ridicule.

Dukakis looked like a wimp trying to drive a tank, because he was a little guy. And he gave a really wimpy answer when asked an outrageous question about a hypothetical rape of his wife.  But he served in the Army and got himself elected governor twice and garnered his party’s presidential nomination.

(And Chait’s own link on the Obama story undercuts it; Newsweek wasn’t saying that Obama was a wimp but rather than ordering the Osama bin Laden raid should have killed the myth that Democrats are wimps on foreign policy.)

As for Mitt Romney, it’s pretty hard to get to where he is in the world as a wimp. While he’s certainly been weak in terms of standing his ground on policy positions, instead tacking with the prevailing winds, that’s more of a sign of lack of a strong ideological mooring and of political opportunism than weakness. (For that matter, as Jim Geraghy points out, Newsweek had Romney depicted as Spartacus—an image rather inconsistent with wimpiness—on a cover back in February.)

What Romney does have in common with Bush 41 and Kerry is that despite enormous strengths—you simply don’t get to be a major party presidential nominee otherwise—he can’t seem to connect with “ordinary Americans.” Bush was doubly fortunate in 1988 to be running as the continuation of Ronald Reagan’s presidency and against Dukakis, who had even less of a common touch than he did.

Romney lacks either of those advantages. While Obama famously has trouble connecting to blue collar voters, most Americans nonetheless find him personally likable and he has a certain off-the-cuff charisma that Romney can’t match. Romney is betting heavily that he’ll be able to win simply on the basis that the economy is bad. And he’s running a disciplined, even ruthless, campaign to hammer that home.

The bottom line is that Romney’s kind of boring; he’s not a wimp.  And Newsweek is about out of tricks.

FILED UNDER: Media, US Politics, , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. al-Ameda says:

    I agree, It is tired, but it is a part of the normal Kabuki of every campaign season – throw a lot of crap out there and see what sticks to the voters.

    I admit it though, If was advising Obama I’d tell him to run adds that feature Equestrian Dressage and that $77,000 tax deduction that Romney took on their equestrian horses.

    Would it portray Romney as a wimp? Effete perhaps.

  2. James Joyner says:

    @al-Ameda: Whatever works, I guess, but as Chait points out, it’s Romney’s wife who is into dressage. It’s not wimpy for a girl!

  3. Spartacus says:

    James wrote: “While he’s certainly been weak in terms of standing his ground on policy positions, instead tacking with the prevailing winds, that’s more of a sign of lack of a strong ideological mooring and of political opportunism than weakness.”

    Uh, no. That’s weakness, pure and simple.

    Romney claims he has a very strong ideological mooring. In fact, he even said he was “severely conservative.” Of course, before that he was going to be more pro-gay than Ted Kennedy.

    The guy is afraid to take an unpopular stand of any kind. That fact that he offended the British is not a sign a strength. It, too, is a sign of weakness (and bullying, which is the natural complement to weakness) because Romney was so concerned about proving his “toughness” to his rabid base that he was willing to insult Britian, which was having security issues with the Olympics.

  4. jan says:

    An <a href=http://ace.mu.nu/archives/331447.phpAce of Spades humorous retort to the wimp factor cover.

  5. James Joyner says:

    @Spartacus: Opportunism isn’t weakness, it’s calculation.

    And Romney didn’t deliberately insult the Brits. He was asked a specific question by an American announcer for an American news show and gave a perfectly reasonable analysis of the situation. The problem is that he’s not an analyst but a presidential candidate. But by the logic of the first half of your comment, you’d be criticizing him for being “weak” if he’d given a diplomatic answer that ignored the problems.

  6. jan says:

    An Ace of Spades humorous retort to the wimp factor cover.

  7. al-Ameda says:

    @James Joyner:

    @al-Ameda: Whatever works, I guess, but as Chait points out, it’s Romney’s wife who is into dressage. It’s not wimpy for a girl!

    I would say that it ss all part of the Romney milieu and image, just as Theresa Heinz was an inseparable part of the Kerry image (sold to us as marrying to money, and gigolo.)

    You know, it amazes me when some people say that they’re not affected by advertising, and maybe say that because they (we) like to think that they’re (we’re) beyond that kind of manipulation. But, I do not believe that businesses and campaigns would spend the kind of money that they do if there was not a result that they desired.

  8. legion says:

    @James Joyner: The problem is entitlement. Romney’s been handed things his entire life, not because he displayed any sort of ability or qualification, but just because he’s rich and connected. This is what we’ve seen throughout his entire campaign – an absolute refusal to learn what he ought to do, because there’s nothing he needs to know… he has “people” for that. Take a look at his comments right now in Israel – comparing the Israeli economy to that of the Palestinians inside the restricted zone, as if that’s a valid comparison of economic strength. No matter what you think of the Isr/Pal conflict, that’s just bone-headed stupid. He clearly has no idea what he’s doing or what he’s talking about.

    It’s just like Herman Cain in the primaries, and GW in the last administration – if your candidate doesn’t have any clues, but promises to surround himself with smart advisors, it begins to pull the question: why do we need the _candidate_ if he doesn’t have the ability to make any decisions in any realm at all without his advisors – what does the candidate actually contribute? If the answer you’re going to pull out is “character”, I’d remind you that we’re talking about Mitt Romney here.

  9. michael reynolds says:

    The problem with this is that “wimp” is not le mot juste. It misses its target.

    Mr. Romney is soulless, false, empty and unlikable. There’s no reason to think he’s a wimp. The attack line should come along the “phony” axis. Because it’s true and true insults are much more efective.

    What is it with people not knowing how to deliver a stinging insult anymore? Republicans have spent four years calling Mr. Obama radical which is stupid. He couldn’t be any less radical or extreme, and their weak and indecisive line was the thrust chin to the OBL uppercut.

    Obama is arrogant and elitist, those would have worked better, but they’re poor fits for an African-American in our twisted national dialog, So we end up with off-the-mark radical and weak.

    I blame our educational system, especially our elite universities. Any bright Oxbridge graduate would be able to deliver a better insult.

  10. C. Clavin says:

    I think wimpy is a stupid word. But I certainly haven’t seen any spine from this guy. Including just this past week when he claimed he wasn’t going to watch his wife’s $70,000 tax deduction compete in the Olympics. Seriously…if you are so afraid of what other people think that you fail to support your spouse…that’s pretty f’ing wimpy.

    I am happy to see Jan link to one of the most whacked-out-wingnuts there is…it’s always fun to see who is doing her thinking for her.

  11. Latino_in_Boston says:

    Romney is not a wimp. Is he clueless? Absolutely. Is he a political opportunist? I’d say that. Is he an out of touch plutocrat? There’s a case to be made. But in that way he represents almost exactly what he’s party has become. And Newsweek is not about to print that.

  12. Latino_in_Boston says:

    @Latino_in_Boston: *his party.

    I’ll buy the magazine when someone makes that case.

  13. C. Clavin says:

    Jan linked to a Wing-Nut website that resorted to the “…I know you are, but what am I…” defense…which is the wimpiest of wimpy retorts.
    Seriously…that’s what Republicans on the extreme fringe think is creative?

  14. stonetools says:

    Maybe Romney could challenge Stone Cold Steve Austin to a wrestling match…

    Agreed, its a BS charge, but this is what passes for informed political commentary these days.

    @ Joyner

    Pedantry alert: Its “shuffled off THIS mortal coil”.

  15. Spartacus says:

    James,

    I mentioned the insult to the British not because I think Romney did it intentionally, but instead to argue against the view stated above that insulting his host was “the opposite of wimpiness.”

    As to your main point that political opportunism is calculation and not weakness, there is no doubt that Romney is a poltical opportunist, but so is every other politician. That fact that Romney may, from time to time, benefit poltiically from his weakness does not in any way take away from the fact that he’s weak. And, by weak, I mean that he’s too insecure and fearful to tell anyone (or any group) that he deems important to his interests something that that person or group would not want to hear even if it’s something that desparately needs to be said by someone in Romney’s position.

    His fear of losing and being rejected causes him to say things he does not believe. Now, you want to call that “political opportunism” I suspect, because you support his candidacy. However, if your child, spouse or someone else you trusted (or wanted to trust) were to exhibit that same behavior, I’m sure you would not be so charitable. You would call it what it is: weakness. I see no reason why a politician seeking the people’s trust should be viewed any differently.

    The better politicians are the ones who know how to tell people something they don’t want to hear while still maintaining their support.

  16. sam says:

    @James Joyner:

    Whatever works, I guess, but as Chait points out, it’s Romney’s wife who is into dressage.

    Yeah, well, a really smart political ad would connect the word ‘dressage’ with the word ‘romney’ — regardless of who owns the horse or whatever. No?

    The result:

    Joe: Hey, you hear that Romney’s into dressage?

    Bob: No shit! Aren’t the Mormons against that?

    Joe: Hell, I don’t know. I don’t anything about Mormons. But there’s stories all over the place about him and this dressage stuff.

    Bob: Well, just shows you, you never can tell. I feel sorry for his wife and kids.

  17. C. Clavin says:

    I think that as important as it is to have a spine…Mitt’s cluelessness is more worthy of a Cover Article…and discussion.
    Today he praised Israel’s Health Care System…a system that is far more Government controlled and…dare I say…socialized than the PPACA…which he has pledged to dismantle if elected. I can only guess that means he’s going full European Health Care if elected?
    The he lauded Israel’s higher GDP as compared to the Palestinian GDP as evidence of Israel’s cultural superiority…Seriously….it’s cultural superiority…not the Palestinians’ lack of a sovereign state or the impact of having to navigate a maze of checkpoints and other barriers…or even the basic disruption of longstanding internal and external conflicts…cultural superiority. But Mitt is not bigoted.

  18. anjin-san says:

    And Romney didn’t deliberately insult the Brits.

    No, he just blundered into it. Is that supposed to be a plus?

  19. Modulo Myself says:

    Romney is running a campaign that is built by and for people who are more than anything terrified of losing, of appearing weak or unliked by the media, of being anything less than ruthless as a rule. I’m not sure if that makes him a wimp, but there’s an essential cowardice that is being expressed that is hard to overlook.

  20. anjin-san says:

    And well we are on the subject of wimpy, let’s talk about him throwing his wife under the bus when asked if he was going to attend her event. If there was ever a time for a guy to step up, that was it.

    “Are you kidding? I am so proud of her, I am counting the minutes.” That was all he had to say. Instead, he served up some weak tea about not knowing when the event was, because he was more concerned about optics. Sad.

    Does this guy EVER stand up?

  21. Drew says:

    Anyone here negotiated an M&A contract??

    It’s not for the faint of heart. Negotiated 10 or 30???

    Once again, the left show themselves to be fools, college prof or light intellecual types who can’t really make it in a rough and tumble world of business. Speaking of wimps………

  22. The funny thing is, there was pre-signalling that Romney was going to attack Obama on “weakness.” There have even been some attempts with surrogates equating him with “Carter weakness” and etc.

    I don’t know where this Romney thing comes from, was it campaign judo?

    (I don’t think “wimp” is the right word for Romney, but lol, if we were mean we could have fun with “campaign of a wimpy kid,” etc.)

  23. Maybe the movie opening was the psychic trigger …

  24. bk says:

    @Drew:

    Anyone here negotiated an M&A contract??

    I have. Probably over 100 of them, actually. So?

  25. anjin-san says:

    @ Drew

    Anyone here negotiated an M&A contract??

    It’s not for the faint of heart. Negotiated 10 or 30???

    Once again, the left show themselves to be fools, college prof or light intellecual types

    Have you ever perused Jimmy Carter’s record in the navy? It’s pretty impressive. That did not translate into him being a strong President, and it has not prevented the right for calling him a wimp for decades.

    I know several guys who do M&A work. Solid guys who I am pleased to have business relationships with, but I am not recommending any of them to become President.

  26. C. Clavin says:

    “…Anyone here negotiated an M&A contract?? “

    Why…do you need some help there, tough guy?

  27. legion says:

    @Drew:

    Anyone here negotiated an M&A contract??

    Has Mitt? Or was that done by his crack legal team?
    Seriously, though – what kind of moron are you to think that being good at a given thing – even the”rough and tumble world of business” – makes you an expert on anything else? Is John Elway a good candidate because of his experience in the “rough and tumble world” of negotiating sports contracts? By your philosophy, we ought to be electing major drug cartel kingpins to office because – man, have you watched Breaking Bad? Those guys are “rough and tumble”!

    Get over yourself.

  28. rudderpedals says:

    What a delightful troll. We were warned about media convergence.

  29. anjin-san says:

    Today he praised Israel’s Health Care System

    There is a whole discussion we need to have…

  30. Drew says:

    @bk:

    If you’ve negotiated over 100′ you must work for a chain that does no count cookie cutter deals. Every contract is the same. Either that, or you are an an attorney, who doesn’t really negotiate them, but just papers them.

    Come clean, dufus. You are fooling with the wrong person.

  31. stonetools says:

    Mitt managed to insult the Palestinians on the Israeli trip too. (Hopefully the Saudis won’t take notice.) Maybe unintentionally insulting people is a sign that he is actually muy macho. He is certainly great at that.

  32. C. Clavin says:

    @ BK…
    Yeah…don’t mess with the world’s greatest corporate financier…or tug on Superman’s cape.

  33. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Drew: I’m sure bk is shaking on his keyboard Drew.

  34. legion says:

    @Drew:
    I so wish we could embed pics on this site so I could put the Neil Degrasse Tyson “We’re dealing with a badass here!” meme in place.

    So, negotiating “10 or 30” M&As makes someone qualified to be President, but negotiating fewer means you’re not experienced enough, but more than that and you’re just papering them. Right.

    I think you’re the sort of person who judges everyone & everything solely on what you see of their status symbols. That’s pretty common in this day & age, but you go the extra mile and aggressively insult people who don’t think exactly like you. Nice. That may get you a big paycheck from your firm, but it also makes you the sort of bro-tastic douchebag that nobody actually likes, or (more to the point) trusts. Same goes for Romney.

  35. Drew says:

    @legion:

    Sorry. The principals in a PE firm negotiate the deals.

    Next.

  36. Drew says:

    @C. Clavin:

    Stupid

  37. Drew says:
  38. john personna says:

    BTW one the MSNBC shows had a series of clips of Romney not just quietly declining, but actually questioning, the food put before him at meet and greet. Food issues?

    (That he let his wife drive the jet ski, and that he rode bitch, might not have been bad in real life, not the only ride of the day, but terrible campaign imagery.)

    And yes it is an amazing coincidence that Drew has optimum M&A experience.

  39. Drew says:

    @legion:

    You, of course, and probably intentionally, missed the point.

    Romneys experience, risking other peoples money and negotiating on their behalf is serious business. He did a fabulous job. Let’s compare and contrast. Obama dicked around as a community organizer, and then blows taxpayer money for his pet projects.

    Romney does that and he gets fired. Obama does it and you fondle his unit.

    It truly is men and boys when it comes to economic stewardship. The fact that you children can’t differentiate speaks volumes.

  40. Drew says:

    @john personna:

    I’m prepared at any moment any time to discuss any and all M&A issues you would care to engage in, JP. (snicker)

  41. Drew says:

    @legion:

    PS

    I don’t get a paycheck from my firm. I am the firm. I get a paycheck from me. Perhaps some day you will grow up and be in a similar position. Your attitude will change. It’s one thing to create income. It’s another to draw an income.

    Business creators have one attitude. Wannabes have another.

  42. @Drew:

    I wouldn’t ask you too narrow a question. You know the guys I read and respect. People like Barry Ritholtz and Felix Salmon. They aren’t terrible at economics or finance and they share my skepticism of top players. So with that background, I’ll challenge you with this:

    As the Global Financial Crisis rumbles along in its fifth year, we read the latest revelations of bankster fraud, the LIBOR scandal. This follows the muni bond fixing scam detailed a couple of weeks ago, as well as the J.P. Morgan trading fiasco and the Corzine-MF Global collapse and any number of other scandals in recent months. In every case it was traders run amuck, fixing “markets” to make an easy buck at someone’s expense. In times like these, I always recall Robert Sherrill’s 1990 statement about the S&L crisis that “thievery is what unregulated capitalism is all about.”

    People on the right are quick to name certain narrow kinds of crony capitalism, but they aren’t really open to discussing the broader, systemic, impacts.

    (BTW, despite your advice, I hung tough with Muni’s and came out OK)

  43. As another point in the theme, any conservative who complained about TARP should really watch this:

    Barofsky: TARP Was An Abysmal Failure

    Yes it was a failure, but not in they way you’ve been suggesting. It was a failure because the awesome power of banks got the money directly exactly where they wanted, even as they cried in the press “oh no, don’t throw us in the briar patch.”

  44. C. Clavin says:

    Anyone else sickand tired of Drew…the self proclaimed genius business man…calling everyone who doesn’t agree with him/her “stupid” and “children” and accusing them of fondling Obama’s unit?
    Either you have a legitimate argument or you don’t. Frankly the number of M&E negotiations anyone does…especially when that is part of their line of work…doesn’t impress me. Even if it did…self-aggrandizement and childish put-downs make me not believe a single word you type.
    You call me stupid? I call you a phony. Anyone care to guess which is most accurate?

  45. Drew says:

    @john personna:

    Nice dodge. But I expected nothing less.

    If you are asking me if I support crony capitalism, the big banks etc, you are barking up the wrong tree. Your boy has all the big corporate backs covered. Campaign contributions, you know.

    The real question is how to improve our economic prospects. Yes, Europe is a mess, China is faltering. That doesn’t exonerate silly and destructive domestic policy. Time to get going. And going through the Obama tunnel leads nowhere.

  46. Drew says:

    @C. Clavin:

    Do you have a substantive argument, or do you just whine like an old wash women?

    Show your colors. Make an argument.

  47. wr says:

    @Drew: “Come clean, dufus. You are fooling with the wrong person”

    Note to self: If you ever again think Drew can’t get any more pompous or ridiculous… you’re wrong.

  48. @Drew:

    I think it was a recovery from a dodge, actually. You set up a straw-man that there was exactly the right amount of M&A experience, that you and Mitt had it, and that nothing else mattered.

    The crony capitalism matters … more.

    We both know that the crony capitalism has been building in markets for a long time, and we know it took off with the joint efforts of a Republican Congress and a Clinton Presidency. It continued apace through the Bush years. And while it is true that Mr. Obama has not done much to reverse course, it is crazy that the 1% think they can put it on him. Mr. Obama is guilty of a lack of reversal.

    Now, do you think Mitt, of all people, is ready to put the banks and financial cheaters on notice?

    Got a link?

  49. C. Clavin says:

    @ Cliffy…
    Adding to my comment at 13:42:
    Palestinians are now calling Romney racist.
    http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/07/30/romney-comments-on-palestinians-draw-criticism/?ref=politics
    Key takeaway…

    “…On Monday afternoon, Romney campaign officials did not respond to a query about whether Mr. Romney believes that the blockade of Gaza or trade restrictions in the West Bank have had any dampening effect on economic activity in those areas…”

    So I have to ask in the context of this thread…is refusing to answer WIMPY?

  50. Related:

    Former Citigroup chief Sandy Weill got the market’s attention this week when he told CNBC that he believes big banks should be broken up.

    Weill’s comments Wednesday came as a major reversal from an executive who famously played a crucial role in shattering the Glass-Steagall as he combined Travelers and Citibank into a financial behemoth.

    You can’t make this stuff up.

  51. Drew says:

    PS

    As I’ve said, C Glavin I’m prepared any time anywhere to discuss M.&A issues to your hearts delight.

    You?

  52. wr says:

    @Drew: “Romneys experience, risking other peoples money and negotiating on their behalf is serious business.”

    I might be more impressed if risking other people’s money wasn’t exactly what Romney did. Risked other people’s money, other people’s jobs. And even when he failed them — he made a fortune.

    You think that makes him admirable. It makes me think he’s just another scumbag bottom feeder.

  53. legion says:

    @Drew: Wow. That’s some classic narcissism there. You move pieces of paper back and forth, millionaires who will always still think of you as a servant* make seven figures, then pay you 4 or 5, and you imagine this somehow improves the economy or produces anything? Accomplishes anything other than letting billionaires brag to each other?

    *-This is an important point… the people whose contracts you put together lord their money over you, and you eat it up. But they’ll never _ever_ let you get rich enough to join them. Then you think you can lord it over all us peons who make even less? I got news for you – I’m not a “wannabe”. I don’t wannabe like you, and I damn sure don’t respect you. I “wanna” better world for my kids to grow up in – but if that world’s inside a gated community while the rest of the country looks like Oliver frigging Twist, then I’ve failed. Would I like a bigger paycheck? I’m not gonna lie – sure I would. But there are things I won’t do or accept to get it. You think that makes me a weaker man than you. I think it makes you not a man at all.

  54. Drew says:

    @john personna:

    C’mon, Jp. You are a master of deflection and straw men. I actually admire it. Fairly clever.

    Don’t turn the howitzer on me. Obama is who he is, a filthy corporate crony. You have t o live with it, you “independent” you.

    I believe that Romney, being a corporate finance man, will turn things on their ear , understanding that the jig is up.

    Only time will tell, given the election. But if Obama is r elected he will cont Niue to be a wholly owned subsidiary of Wall Street.

  55. C. Clavin says:

    @ Drew…
    See C. Clavin comments at 13:01, 13:42, and 17:31…
    Romney is not only spineless, but clueless, as three very recent examples of his actions indicate. The number of M&A negotiations one has participated in indicates next to nothing about one’s charachter or fitness as President. My guess is that G. Washington did very few.

  56. al-Ameda says:

    @Drew:

    Anyone here negotiated an M&A contract??
    It’s not for the faint of heart. Negotiated 10 or 30???

    Two words: Equestrian Dressage”

    Drew, Mitt Romney is not a wimp, he’s merely the latest version of John Kerry – firmly unattached to any particular position, and a person who distances himself from his own statements when pressed to explain or clarify. He’s cold and somewhat unprincipled, and not a wimp.

  57. Drew says:

    @legion:

    Cool. An incoherent, defensive and wannabe rant. I don’t live in a gated community. I live in a nice community, like many people. And I create jobs through my work; and I live well below my means. Sorry.

    I just posit this, loser legion, how many jobs have you created? Straight up. Put up, or shut up. No BS. You are good at ranting on an Internet site, but what have you really done? What have you really done for the greater good?

    I have to go move some pieces of paper now. (snicker).

    Look in the mirror.

  58. C. Clavin says:

    “…What have you really done for the greater good?”

    No one in history has done as much as you Drew.
    You are our hero.
    You are the greatest that has ever lived.
    We are honored that you deem us worthy of your insights.
    WTF…

  59. Drew says:

    @john personna:

    Try again.

  60. Drew says:

    @C. Clavin:

    So you have no rational response.

    Got it.

  61. legion says:

    @Drew: Incoherent? Hardly; just derisive and dismissive. I’d figure you were already fluent.

    So, anyone who doesn’t own a business and employ other people is a loser who doesn’t contribute to the economy? That the people who are actually employed in those companies don’t actually do anything “for the greater good”? Oh, to be back in the days when only the landed gentry had a vote, us peons knew our place.

    To address your question, though, I’m just a grunt employee at my place of work. I earn my money, pay my bills, live my life. I’ve never started a business, nor had any desire to. And my impression of what you think of this sort of person still stands. But here’s a question for you – of the M&As you’ve worked, how many of them actually resulted in _more_ jobs being created, rather than a bunch of layoffs? You’re not a “creator” in any economic sense, Drew – you make rich people richer, but that’s all. You’re just a mercenary – a hired gun, brought in to do a menial task, then sent away. If you vanished off the face of the earth today, you’d be replaced tomorrow, and by next week nobody would even remember your name. My life is built around a little more than substituting my paycheck for my manhood.

  62. Drew says:

    @wr:

    Thast fine, you are ignorant.

    Thank you for sharing.

  63. Drew says:

    What’s fascinating to me, is that while dismembering ridiculous leftist positions, the response is to claim “pompous” notions. Not one lefty here has been able to make a coherent argument. So attack the man.

    What a pathetic leftist crew. Embarrassing.

  64. al-Ameda says:

    @Drew:

    What’s fascinating to me, is that while dismembering ridiculous leftist positions, the response is to claim “pompous” notions. Not one lefty here has been able to make a coherent argument. So attack the man.

    What a pathetic leftist crew. Embarrassing.

    so, it’s time to take that self-congratulatory victory lap after having demolished your Straw Man?

  65. john personna says:

    @Drew:

    I’d like to answer you, but you really need 30 years programming complex systems to have the requisite respect for truth and logic. In our domain truth is truth, likewise logic, and all else fails.

    It’s not a field where the richer or more connected can just define up as down in a contact and require weakee parties to accept.

    Lol, “M&A == !wimpy == President”

    Tell another one.

  66. legion says:

    @Drew:

    Not one lefty here has been able to make a coherent argument. So attack the man.

    Really? For someone who’s consistently called everyone here “stupid” and “loser”, while dodging completely relevant comments on Romney’s actual ability to run the country, that’s mighty hilarious. Here’s a very specific argument, just so you don’t lose sight of what the discussion is about:

    Romneys experience, risking other peoples money and negotiating on their behalf is serious business. He did a fabulous job. Let’s compare and contrast. Obama dicked around as a community organizer, and then blows taxpayer money for his pet projects.

    Romney did, by all accounts, a good job making money at an investment firm. Great. Obama spent his time in a completely different field, working towards different goals, but he didn’t make hundred of millions of dollars like Romney did, he just got elected President, so he’s not qualified to actually _be_ President, while Romney is. That appears to be the basis of your argument.

    Let’s try putting that in a different context… Ty Cobb was, by all reports, a bigoted, hate-filled SOB. But he was also a fantastic baseball player, and had great success in that field. Albert Einstein was an academic, a scientist and teacher. He won the Nobel Prize, but he wasn’t pro-athlete level rich, and his RBI stunk, so we should put people like Ty Cobb in charge scientific research – so says a guy who was all-state on his college team once.

    That’s a pretty spot-on re-telling of your only stated position in this thread – and it’s why nobody here has any respect for you.

  67. C. Clavin says:

    Drew makes me miss the coherence of Indiana Joneses arguments.

  68. C. Clavin says:

    Has anyone else noticed that nothing Drew types in indicative of the claims he makes about himself?
    There was a guy in grad school who was always bragging about how great a skier he was. So during one break we drove up to Mammoth. The guy was embarrassing to be seen with. Not just a bad skier…but obnoxious and dangerous.
    Drew makes me think of that guy.

  69. wr says:

    @Drew: I may be ignorant, but at least I’m not some travelling salesman pretending to be the king of mergers and acquisitions. I don’t feel compelled to invent a ludicrous persona as some kind of business whiz simply because I’m so impotent in my own life.

    Oh, and I’m not so ignorant that I would believe my own line of BS.

    Good luck with your next sales call, Drew. And don’t forget to tune into Rush on those long drives between appointments. He’s good for lots of material to post here.

  70. Ben Wolf says:

    @legion:

    You’re not a “creator” in any economic sense, Drew – you make rich people richer, but that’s all. You’re just a mercenary – a hired gun, brought in to do a menial task, then sent away.

    I think the best way to describe what Drew does is that he helps manufacturers become efficient enough to survive in a tough American market. Sometimes that does involve layoffs, re-organizations and shifting from labor to automation. Sometimes they become healthy enough to hire more.

    Drew’s defense of Romney’s background notwithstanding, Bain was in the business of raiding other companies regardless of the consequences to others. There are “good” PE guys and “bad” PE guys. Drew pretends to be the latter but is really the former.

  71. Dave says:

    Why is anyone paying any attention to Drew? An analysis that essentially consists of “because he’s a businessman and he knows he’ll have to turn it around” and “yeah, I’ve done M&A so I know” isn’t worth replying to, even to ridicule because it feeds the troll. I know some of you are bored and post reflexively, but Christ!, write something else.

  72. Scott O says:

    @Drew:

    I believe that Romney, being a corporate finance man, will turn things on their ear , understanding that the jig is up.

    Can you elaborate on this? What do you think he will do?

    Let me handle this part for you, save you some time.

    @Scott O

    Stupid

  73. Tillman says:

    I believe that Romney, being a corporate finance man, will turn things on their ear , understanding that the jig is up.

    And this is where everyone should have stopped reading.

  74. michael reynolds says:

    The gospel according to Drew:

    Ordering a SEAL team into Pakistan to kill Osama Bin Laden? Child’s play.

    Negotiating a contract? Manly men only.

    Drew, your head’s so far up your own ass you can open your eyes and check your prostate.

  75. rudderpedals says:

    Weakly Interactive Mitt Policy = WIMP

  76. jan says:

    In the meantime the LA Times reports this: Five ATF officials ruled responsible for Fast and Furious.

    It’s not going away… even with distractions about so-called wimp factors. The weather vane will always turn back to real news, eventually…

  77. jan says:

    @Drew:

    “@C. Clavin:

    Stupid “

    A one-word masterpiece!

  78. al-Ameda says:

    @jan:

    In the meantime the LA Times reports this: Five ATF officials ruled responsible for Fast and Furious.

    What a surprise. A hack Republican Congressman, Darrell Issa, issues a Committee Report that goes after the administration. I’m shocked.

  79. jan says:

    @al-Ameda:

    “I’m shocked. “

    I thought you would be.

  80. jukeboxgrad says:

    Why is anyone paying any attention to Drew?

    The core of the GOP is people like Drew and Jan. When they speak up in a place like this they give onlookers a vivid demonstration of what’s driving the GOP right now. Their inadvertent public service is considerable, so I think you should appreciate them more.

  81. @jan:

    Jan dear, you are getting more trollish as time goes by.

    I’m not sure why it should surprise or embolden you to learn ATF ran F&F. Duh. I’m not sure why that emboldens you to think something else, that it was not ATF and was still secretly the WH.

  82. C. Clavin says:

    From Jan’s link re: F&F…(spoiler alert – no Jordana Brewster pictures):

    “…Republican congressional investigators have concluded…”

    After a nearly four year long witch hunt…trying to nail President Obama on something, anything…all Issa (who has lied about his own record, and has personally benefited from his oversight position) could find is the continuation and expansion of what was a failed Bush policy. Like Ken Starr…another brilliant expenditure of taxpayer money for nada.

  83. bandit says:

    @michael reynolds: Juvenile insults – what a surprise.

  84. Barry says:

    James, from the blurb on the OTB homepage: “Mitt Romney is no more of a wimp than George H.W. Bush or John Kerry.”

    Actually, he’s far more of a wimp. When his war came, Mitt made sure that he was ‘fighting’ in France, as a missionary. Both Bush I and Kerry volunteered.

  85. grumpy realist says:

    Considering the insults that Drew hurls around here like snowballs, I find it extremely difficult to believe that he has negotiated even one contract, let alone the myriad of M&A mergers he claims to have negotiated.

    As the saying goes: “everyone’s Ron Johnson on the internets.”

  86. James Joyner says:

    @Barry: That’s sort of silly. WWII was a very different war; the president’s sons served in that one. And, while Kerry’s service in Vietnam was praiseworthy, the four years difference in his age and Romney’s is huge with regard to that war. Kerry volunteered for combat duty just before the tide of public opinion turned on the war; indeed, his own view turned as well within months. Romney didn’t finish college until 1971, having taken time out for his Mormon mission. I don’t think anyone was volunteering for the war by that point and the draft was on its way out.

  87. grumpy realist says:

    @James Joyner: but Romney’s sons could have volunteered and not a single one did so. Why not?

    If Mitt were as patriotic as he claims to be, I think he would have encouraged at least one of his sons into the military.

  88. jukeboxgrad says:

    james:

    the four years difference in his [Kerry’s] age and Romney’s

    The actual age difference is 3 years, 3 months.

    Romney didn’t finish college until 1971, having taken time out for his Mormon mission.

    Mitt’s 30-month excursion in Paris, where he lived in a palace, with servants (link), began in 7/66, when he was 19. That was great timing for him: ’67, ’68 and ’69 were the worst years of the war, for us. We lost about 40,000 troops in that period, or about 2/3 of the total for the entire war.

    Mitt was old enough to serve during that period. Plenty of people no older than him were drafted and died, if they were too poor to escape to college or France. But just a couple of months before he escaped to France, Mitt joined a demonstration “[proclaiming] his support for Lyndon Johnson’s ever-expanding draft” (link). So his attitude was that the war was a great idea as long as it was fought by someone other than him. And his thinking along these lines apparently applies to the next generation, too.

  89. wr says:

    @James Joyner: “Kerry volunteered for combat duty just before the tide of public opinion turned on the war; indeed, his own view turned as well within months. ”

    Kerry’s view turned because he saw what was happening there. And when he came back he testified about it, earning the lifelong enmity of a lot of people. He had convictions, and he stood up for them.

    Mitt was summering in a chateau in France and stood up for nothing.

  90. jukeboxgrad says:

    Well, he stood up for the idea that trying to convince the French to give up sex, wine and coffee was more important than serving his country.

  91. Barry says:

    @James Joyner: “Romney didn’t finish college until 1971, having taken time out for his Mormon mission.”

    Um, did you not understand that ‘having taken time out for his Mormon mission’ was exactly what I was referring to? If he’s such a big Mormon guy (bishop and such), then why was he not fighting a war that the Mormon Church (a) supported and (b) supported a draft for (while exempting their own sons)?